Rosie’s Variety Show: Disappointing

I’ve really missed seeing Rosie O’Donnell on television, and had high hopes for her live variety show last night.

Unfortunately, I found “Rosie LIVE” to be almost totally unwatchable. The opening monologue was peppered with recycled jokes that she’d already told when she appeared on the Conan O’Brien show. Liza Minnelli did a fantastic job with her splashy musical number, but Rosie’s voice is no match for Liza’s, and her sour (although enthusiastic) backup notes really dragged down the song.

Alec Baldwin’s lascivious joke about speaking directly into the microphone affixed to Rosie’s cleavage was inappropriate for a “family” show, and just not funny. Kathy Griffin, another talented comedian that I usually love, missed the mark with her stilted and pointless Nancy Grace impersonation.

It was so weird…the show had so many elements that SHOULD have worked well, but didn’t.

Yes, there was an amazing tap dance performance, songs by Alanis Morrisette, Harry Connick Jr. and Ne-Yo, but nothing seemed to flow well with anything else. Instead of showcasing a variety of talent, it was a hodge-podge of thrown-together acts with no rhyme or reason to them. And, while Gloria Estefan is a gifted singer/songwriter, she proved herself sadly incapable of telling a simple turkey joke.

This was so disappointing. I truly wanted Rosie to succeed at this new venture, and I hope she gives it another try. Next time, though, she needs to cut the useless cameos (Conan O’Brien’s pie in the face gag, Clay Aiken’s “elephant in the room” gay references, Jane Krakowski’s strip tease) and try to make the show more cohesive and entertaining. More substance, less schtick.

When Rosie paints, she throws a bunch of colors onto the canvas and just lets it flow as the inspiration moves her. Sometimes, the final result is striking and thought-provoking, but other times, it’s just a big ole mess.

Creating a work of art should be something one does purely for oneself. To quote Ricky Nelson’s Garden Party, “I learned my lesson well. You can’t please everyone, so you have to please yourself.”

Trouble is, if you’re hired to put on a prime-time variety show, you’re going to have to think about your audience a bit more, and try a little harder to create something that will appeal to others.

Better luck next time, Rosie.

3 thoughts on “Rosie’s Variety Show: Disappointing

  1. Just a caustic woman all around. I don’t care if you’re lesbian or not… it’s beside the point. She is blatently disrespectful to ANYONE who holds a contrary opinion and feels a self-righteous authoritative approach is the best way to deal with people.

    I would like to go back a few years with Rosie and talk about her hypocritical ambush of Tom Selleck because he is a member of the NRA. She lambasted him (he came on her show to plug a movie he was in) and she ambushed him with her anti-gun rant. Why was this hypocritical? No… not because it was later revealed that her bodyguard carried a gun… it was something more immediate to the situation and less obvious to many…

    Go back and watch that interview on YouTube. It took place back around 1999. Remember that the new Star Wars movie was released then? Rosie was a big fan. Rosie blasted Tom Selleck for his membership in the NRA while at the same exact time she had all those little Star Wars figures lined up on her desk and guess what????…..

    They all had guns/blasters in their little PVC hands!

    Yes, Rosie is a hypocrite. Take whatever stand you want… but dammit… respect others for their views too, Rosie!

  2. I've seen that Tom Selleck interview several times, and I agree, it was certainly cringe-worthy. I also remember when the news came out about her bodyguard carrying a gun, but that still doesn't strike me as hypocritical. Just because someone is pro-regulation doesn't mean they are completely anti-gun. I think every American has the right to own a gun if they want one, but I also believe in wait times and background checks and such. Bodyguards and security personnel should be able to carry a weapon as part of their job, but do we really want the crackhead down the street to have one, too?

    So many issues are not black and white…there are shades of gray where people need to try and meet in the middle and come to some sort of viable compromise. Because she feels so strongly about certain issues, and is quite forceful in stating them, unfortunately Rosie can come across as unyielding and immoderate.

    As much as she says she doesn't want to do a political commentary show, I think it would get huge ratings. Can you imagine Rosie replacing Alan Colmes on Hannity & Colmes?? Now THAT would be explosive television!!

  3. Lisa, I agree that pro-regulation doesn’t necessarily mean anti-gun however, that was never part of Rosie’s argument. She put this man on the spot on national television for his views and it wasn’t only unsolicited – it was NEVER mentioned beforehand as a topic for Selleck to discuss! Her rant had absolutely NOTHING to do with the crackhead down the street. She simply wanted ratings and felt that this was a good way to go about it and when she found out that it backfired, she was all teary-eyed about having done what she did.

    I have no sympathy for Rosie O’Donnell and her plight for self-righteous, uber-liberal, one-sided beliefs. She is as I stated – a very caustic woman.

    When I went into the voting booth in Youngstown, Ohio back in 2004 to vote – one of the issues was the proposed Ohio Constitutional Amendment to ban gay marriage. I voted against banning it IN SPITE of people like Rosie O’Donnell – not because of them. If Rosie were the only person affected by my vote, I would have found a way to vote against her ten times over. She’s a despicable woman who is, ironically, one of the most intolerant people in show business today.

    As for her being on Hannity and Colmes – it would at least be the proper forum – at least people coming on the show and tuning in would know what to expect under that context!

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